Tonight at Code Conference, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella brought his Skype team onto the stage to prove that his company's got the next big thing. Taglined "the pre-beta of magic," the service, called Skype Translator, turns your real-time conversation into a Star Trek-like universal communicator. You can speak to someone who speaks a different language; the service adds the other person's translations for you in subtitle format at the bottom of the screen. It's not an immediate translation: You'll need to wait until the other person is done speaking before the service starts whirring away.
We've seen similar demonstrations in the past, but the key point here is that the beta service is due out by the end of the year, and will be on all devices that run Skype.
The company isn't committing to specific language support yet, but it likely will be a matter of which ones Skype is able to do the best at launch.